FAYETTEVILLE -- A man accused of stabbing his wife to death last month pleaded not guilty to capital murder in Washington County Circuit Court on Monday.
Marcus McBurney Joiner, 40, of 1611 E. Thornhill Drive in Fayetteville, was arrested April 17 and formally charged last week with the April 16 stabbing death of his wife, Amy. He's being held in the Washington County Detention Center on a $750,000 cash-only bond.
Joiner was given an initial court date of July 11 before Washington County Circuit Judge Joanna Taylor.
Capital murder is a Class Y felony punishable by death or life in prison without parole. Prosecutors haven't decided whether they will seek the death penalty against Joiner.
Amy Joiner was found dead, with a knife in her neck, lying in the street in front of her home the night of April 16, according to a report from the Fayetteville Police Department.
Amy Joiner called police at 9:28 p.m. April 16 and said her husband "was intoxicated on alcohol and was 'being aggressive,'" according to a preliminary police report. Joiner described her husband as shirtless and wearing jeans.
Amy Joiner was initially calm while speaking to the dispatcher, the report states, but suddenly began screaming for help before she stopped responding to the dispatcher. A male voice was heard on the call saying, "You wanted it like this," according to a recording of the call.
A witness later told police she heard a woman screaming and believed someone was being stabbed. The witness said they saw someone lying in the street with a man kneeling over them. The witness said the man appeared to be punching or stabbing the person on the street.
When officers arrived, they saw a man wearing only a pair of jeans, later identified as Marcus Joiner, walking away from a body in the street. The man refused commands to stop and entered the house at 1611 E. Thornhill Drive.
The officers found Amy Joiner in the street. She wasn't breathing, according to the report. The first officer said he could still hear the 911 operator on Amy Joiner's phone, which was on the ground next to her.
Investigators found a large amount of blood surrounding her body, and several large footprints were found in the blood heading away from the body toward the house in the same direction officers had seen Marcus Joiner walking. The footprints were of bare feet, according to the report.
Police surrounded the house, and after a few minutes, Joiner came out of the home. Police said he had a single puncture wound in the left side of his chest.
Investigators said Marcus Joiner had cuts on both hands and his right hand was badly swollen. Officers also saw a lot of blood on his pants and the bottoms of his feet.
Amy Joiner was 39 years old. She was a partner and doctor at Northwest Arkansas Pathology Associates, according to her obituary.
A criminal proceeding at which the defendant is officially called before a court, informed of the offense charged in the complaint, information, indictment, or other charging document, and asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. It is not a hearing to determine guilt or innocence. The interests at issue in an arraignment are the defendants right to know of the charges against him or her and the defendants right to have adequate information from which to prepare a defense.
Source: NWA Democrat-Gazette